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Grads@Rochester: News for University of Rochester Graduate Students (June 12, 2016)
06.12.16: 'Career' awards; Huntington's research; urban education center; saxophonists head to China; Tibetan Innovation Challenge; Tony connections


'Career' Award Recipients Blend Research and Education

Four Rochester researchers are among the latest recipients of the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award for junior faculty members, the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. They are Ignacio Franco, assistant professor of chemistry; Dragony Fu, assistant professor of biology; Douglas Kelley, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; and Nick Vamivakas, assistant professor of optics and of physics and astronomy. Read more...

Swapping Sick for Healthy Brain Cells Slows Huntington’s Disease

Medical Center researchers have successfully reduced the symptoms and slowed the progression of Huntington’s disease in mice using healthy human brain cells. The findings, which were published in Nature Communications, could ultimately point to a new method to treat the disease. Read more...

New Center to Promote K–12 Urban Education Success

Grounded in the University’s partnership with East High School, the Center for Urban Education Success will bring together the Warner School’s educational programs, community outreach, and research about urban schools, as well as the University’s work at East. Read more...

Lydia Rotondo Named Associate Dean 

Lydia Rotondo has been named associate dean for education and student affairs at the School of Nursing. Rotondo began as interim dean last August, in addition to continuing as director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Read more...

Saxophonists Perform, Teach in China This Summer

From concert halls to music camps, the Eastman Saxophone Project brings its innovative programing and versatile performances to a variety of audiences in China this summer. Read more...

Tibetan Innovation Challenge Winners Named

Judges awarded Tashi Organics—including Mikayla Hart '16S (MBA) and Kari Wozniak, an MBA candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—first place and a $5,000 cash prize in the second annual Tibetan Innovation Challenge. Read more...

Health History Form Requirement for Incoming Students

If you are an incoming graduate student, you must meet New York State and University of Rochester immunization requirements. The immunization requirements protect individual students and the public health of the campus. A Health History Form packet was sent to incoming students. The recommended date for submission is Thursday, June 30. Forms will continue to be accepted throughout the summer. An FAQ page on the UHS website provides answers to the most commonly asked questions. Write to with any other questions. Read more…

Meliora Weekend Event Schedule Posted

Meliora Weekend, October 6–9, will include entertainment and speakers, reunions, food trucks and performances at the Meliora Village, a picnic on the newly-dedicated Edmund A. Hajim '58 Science & Engineering quad, the Scholar Showcase, Eastman concerts, and favorites such as the A Cappella Jam, MEL Talks, and Miller’s Court. Check out the full event schedule to plan for your weekend. Registration and ticketing open in July. 

Public Safety Advises 'Run, Hide, Fight' for Survival

Fifty percent of active shooter incidents occur in school or medical center environments and national statistics show the events, such as the incident at UCLA earlier this month, are increasing, despite still being relatively rare. The Department of Public Safety trains to respond to the scenarios and guides employees and students on the recommended actions to take in the presence of an active shooter—“Run, Hide, Fight.”  View the Public Safety’s active shooter response procedures and the FBI’s “Run, Hide, Fight” video. You can also hear Chief Mark Fischer discuss preparedness on Time Warner News (December 2015). To update your contact information in AlertUR, the University’s emergency notification system, visit

10 Times Rochester Rubbed Elbows with Tony Awards

The 70th Tony Awards will broadcast tonight. Over the years, Rochester alumni have taken home Broadway’s top honors, and University students have had the opportunity to work with Tony Award winners on stage and behind the scenes. As you get ready to watch the big event, here are a few fun facts that tie Rochester to the Tony Awards.

Ain Center to Host Romanian Professors

The Ain Center for Entrepreneurship has been selected to host the Romanian Professor Entrepreneurship Education and Networking Program, bringing 18 professors from technical universities to the River Campus over the next three years. Read more...

College Town Dry Cleaners Opens

A new dry cleaner and wash-and-fold laundry has opened at 35 Celebration Drive, behind Jimmy John's. A 10 percent discount is available to University ID holders.

PhD Dissertation Defenses

  • Joseph Jackson, microbiology and immunology, "Elucidating the Antiplatelet Activity of Minocycline: Implications for HIV," Monday, June 6. Advisor: Sanjay Maggirwar
  • Kelly Vore, microbiology and immunology, “Characterization of the LFR Genomic Islet in Staphylococcus aureus CC30,” 10 a.m.,  Monday, June 13, Auditorium K-207 (2-6408), Medical Center. Advisor: Steven Gill
  • Rakesh Chatrikhi, biophysics, “Structure and Function of a Phosphorylated Complex Containing the Myelodysplasia-Relevant Pre-mRNA Splicing Factor U2AF35,” 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 15, Neuman Room (1-6823), Medical Center. Advisor: Clara Kielkopf
  • Jianing Yao, optics, "Optical Coherence Tomography Metrology of Gradient Refractive Index Material and Freeform Optical Surfaces," 1:30 p.m., Thursday, June 16, Bausch and Lomb Hall Room 106. Advisor: Jannick Rolland
  • Mahdi Nazm Bojnordi, electrical engineering, "Memory System Optimizations for Energy and Bandwidth Eļ¬ƒcient Data Movement," 2 p.m., Thursday, June 16, Computer Studies Building Room 523. Advisor: Engin Ipek
  • Dustin Moore, optics, "Optical Metrology by Prescription Retrieval and Transverse-Translation Diversity Phase Retrieval," 2 p.m. Thursday, June 16, Bausch and Lomb Hall Room 106. Advisor: Jim Fienup
  • Edward Hansen, physics and astronomy, "Outflows from Young Stellar Objects: Bringing Numerical Simulations Closer to Observations of Herbig-Haro Objects," 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 16, Meliora Hall Room 221. Advisor: Adam Frank

Rochester in the News

Did Caitlyn Jenner Help or Hinder the Trans Revolution?

Newsweek, May 30
"With so much fame, it was clear this would be a make-or-break moment for the transgender community," write John Cullen, coordinator of outreach for the Susan B. Anthony Center, and Nick Kasper '17, a program assistant for the Anthony Center, in an op-ed  about Caitlyn Jenner's public announcement. "Ironically, it appears to have done both."
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